Buying a home is a huge financial decision, so it makes sense to hire a home inspector before you buy.

Even if the Columbus home you’re considering looks great, there could be hidden issues. This is where a home inspection is crucial.

If there’s a leaky roof, mold, termites, or a faulty foundation, chances are it will be found by a good home inspector.

Usually, a home inspection happens during your due diligence period. This is after you have made an offer and it’s accepted, but before you have closed on the home.

This gives you a chance to determine issues with the property, which may lead you to decide to renegotiate or cut your losses.

It’s important to remember, though, that your home inspection will only be as good as the inspector(s) you hire. Here’s how to find a good home inspector in Columbus.

Check Certifications & Qualifications

As of this writing, Ohio does not require a home inspector to be licensed with the state. However, top inspectors may have a license and should absolutely be certified in the inspection services they offer.

Whenever you’re hiring a professional, it’s a good idea to do some research. You want to hire an inspector with experience in Columbus so they know about local issues to look for. You also want someone with good recommendations.

When To Hire A Specialist

Most home buyers will only need a good general inspector. The inspector can only check what they can see, though. They cannot open up walls.

If a home inspector finds something amiss, they may recommend a specialist. Some common specialty inspections include HVAC, electrical, and pest.

There are also inspection specialists in radon, mold, lead, asbestos, septic, and many other concerns.

Consider Communication

Talk to the inspector you’re considering. Do your communication styles mesh? This person will need to be able to effectively communicate problems with the home you’re considering. You should feel comfortable asking questions, and they should be able to answer you in a way that makes sense.

Get A Sample Report

Getting a sample report will help you know what to expect from the home inspector. Ask questions about items on the report. This will help you see how the inspector explains what’s on the report and found issues.

If you’re a first time home buyer, seeing a sample report can also help you understand what types of issues commonly pop up. It can be overwhelming to get a long list of issues on what you thought was your dream home, but most issues found during inspections are not deal breakers.

 KEEP IN MIND A home inspectors job is to make you aware of issues, not to suggest fixes, estimate costs, or advise you on asking the sellers for compensation. 

What To Ask When Hiring A Home Inspector

When you hire a home inspector in Columbus, ask these 5 questions.

  • What are your qualifications? As stated above, Ohio does not require a license to be a home inspector. However, a professional who has been in the business for some time will likely be licensed, have multiple certifications, and should have experiences to draw on that make the person more qualified.
  • How long have you been a home inspector in Columbus? While a newer inspector may be able to do a good job, you still want them to have experience in the business. They need to know what to look for specific to the area and even the type of home you’re considering.
  • How much do you charge? Often in life, you get what you pay for. A home inspection is not something you want to skimp on. If a home inspector charges significantly less, that may be a red flag.
  • How long does a home inspection take? This will be an estimate, but what you want to weed out is someone who says it will only take an hour to inspect a 100 year old home.
  • Can I be there during the inspection? This should always be yes. The buyer is usually present for the home inspection. You want to be able to understand and see any issues the home inspector finds. Additionally, the home inspector may point out things that might not be a current problem, but could require maintenance in the future. Be prepared to take notes during the inspection, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.
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